I managed to run! (Small victories)

I recently wrote about the struggles that I have been having running, due to the new medication I am taking.

Well, I managed to run two days ago for a whoppingly great 2.7km.  But – I felt okay.  Not great.  More tired than I should after less than 3km, but not ruined.

Is this a good sign?  I hope so.  I am going to perhaps try and run again tonight after the Neon Toddler is in bed, probably the same route, and see how I feel.

Then I will be taking all of this to the doctor on Friday to say…  Hello!  This is not cool!  Running makes me feel better, it shouldn’t be one of the things that makes me feel worse.

I have also noticed that the exhaustion wears off more quickly in the morning and sets in less quickly in the evening.  I managed to stay up until almost midnight last Saturday.  A and I had a party (which was lovely!) but by around 10:30pm I was starting to get ready to go to bed.  I wasn’t the best host going around as I spent most of the evening sitting down, but that happens.

There was only one sour note on the whole night (which was mostly expected, and I won’t go into detail about), but apart from that it went well (and most importantly my Pavlova was GREAT!).

Anyway – I had better get back to doing some actual work while I have the energy to do so!



More explanation.

So, as many of you are probably aware, I have bipolar.  Around May of last year I, with my doctors, decided that it was time for me to come off medication.  At the time I was taking Abilify and Fluoxetine.  I was not going very well on the medication – tiredness and brain fuzz, mainly due to the Fluoxetine, and when I was not taking that my obsessive-compulsive behaviour skyrocketted.

I was coping really well off the medication until a few months ago when things really went very downhill.  The only thing I felt that I could competently do was look after my daughter, and almost literally all of my energy went in to that.  I made the decision to go back on medication, and have been back on Abilify for around a month.  Things are going well.

Except when they aren’t, and that’s when I (try to) run.  I am so tired all the time, but more painful that that is that my body just has nothing.  I can’t even say that my body has no energy, because it’s even worse than that.  I have nothing.  I cannot run for more than about 4.5kms (even with significant walking breaks) before my body shuts down.

I am going to talk to my doctor about this at our next appointment, but in the mean time, I am struggling without the ability to run.  And because running has been so difficult, I am losing the will to even try.

As such, the two half marathons, marathon, and ultra that I have planned over the next six months might be a pipe dream.

Please consider supporting me anyway – I am fundraising for Mind, the Mental Health charity, and you can donate here, or by texting EMST83 £xx (i.e. insert the amount to donate, e.g. EMST83 £3) to 70070.

I will update as much as I can, and hopefully will be able to update with some good news soon.  If I cannot run comfortably for 15km within the next month I am going to have to pull out of the two halfs in March, and Paris marathon – my cardio fitness seems to be fine, and I feel that if I can sort out the tiredness then this is an achievable goal.



Winter running is great because… MORE KIT!!!

IMAG0510Buff, obvs.  Glasses (always contacts during the day and for races).  Sony Walkman waterproof all-in-one MP3 player (although I need a new one of these!).  Tribesports black t-shirt. Kalenji arm sleeves. Garmin 220.

IMAG0514_1As above, plus Nike Victory Women’s Court Skirt. Adidas black-and-white running tights.  Honestly, I only bought these because I couldn’t decided if they were super awesome or super ugly.  But they are awesome.

IMAG0516As above, plus Brooks Pure Connect 2.  I don’t have to tell anyone how much I love these shoes, because I LOVE THEM and THEY ARE THE AWESOME!!!  These are men’s, and obviously very, very green. IMAG0518And all as above, plus a Quencha Extend 0-10L vest.  Honestly, it’s a good enough vest but I would like to get a more sturdy one.  It’s very light, and I mainly use it for longer runs (clearly) and for times I run to pick up the Neon Toddler from nursery, and need to take her a drink, myself a jacket, and our Oyster, and keys.

I ran tonight, and other tragedies

I went for a run tonight and it was rubbish.  More on that in a moment.

During last year’s Ealing Half I struggled to find a rhythm.  I spend 21.1 kms battling myself to find a stride that I could, um, stride into.  Well, I searched and searched for rhythm during that run and the rhythm just didn’t come.  If I had spent any time in training dealing with this issue then it probably wouldn’t have derailed me as much as it did (at the start… although I struggled the whole race, I kind of got used to the struggle, if that in any way makes sense).  So, after that I was determined to be a bit more of a hard arse when it came to not bottling out on training runs that weren’t particularly going to plan.  So, that’s what happened tonight.

I ran from home to Neon Toddler’s nursery – it’s about a 6.8km run, and mostly flat.  Oh my gosh, tonight it was just terrible.  I felt like I was moderately pushing the pace and just not going anywhere (as in something in the vicinity of 20-40 seconds per km slower than my normal easy pace).  My feet were hitting the ground in odd and unexpected ways, and going all over the place.  Even when I was consciously trying to run ‘to form’ things just were not happening.

About 1.5 km in I stopped and took off my long sleeve, because I was just slightly too hot.  I love the blistering heat when all I have to do is sit by the pool and drink a beer, but when I’m running I’d rather be a lot too cold than a little too hot (god help me if I ever decide to run a desert race…).  So, off came the jumper, but the running didn’t get any better.  So, on I struggled.

And struggled.

And struggled.

But, I didn’t give in (I easily could have stopped anywhere on my particularly route and taken a bus).  And gosh my run was awful.  But, it was also one of those days that – for totally no reason whatsoever, even in the face of an awful run – things were just good.  Running was good.

And that was that.  I guess ‘train through pain, to race through pain’ can also just as easily be ‘train through weird, uneven, nothingness to race through weird, uneven, nothingness’.

It all helps.


2015, year in preview.

I only made one resolution for this year, and it was to stop resolving to do things.  I did not meet any of my set resolutions or goals for last year (for various reasons), and it has left me feeling a bit hopeless about 2015.  My win to loss ratio for last year looks pretty dismal, and so I have decided that I do not really want to reflect on 2014, but look forward to this year.

I know I say this every year but I want to do more running.  The last two years my running has been pretty up and down, due in large part to the unending pressure of finishing a PhD and raising a toddler (on my own, for the last part).  This year, my circumstances are slightly different, and so I hope to prioritise running a little bit more.  I have already started organising things differently in my life to accommodate this (and, generally, a more positive lifestyle) including swapping around the days on which Neon Toddler is with me (mainly, in this regard, is the switch of Friday to Saturday nights toddler-free).  The last 18 months have been a bit of a whirlwind of negativity and downward looking, and I need to change that around for myself.  And, I know that running and being active will be a big part of that.

I would also like to loose some weight.  Ideally, I’d like to be 7 to 10 kgs lighter by the end of July, when Helen (of HelsBels) and I take on the 70 mile Saffron Trail ultra.

So, as for goals for 2015, here they are:

Run.  Enjoy running.  Don’t worry about anything else.  (And, maybe sneak a few races in…)


Yesterday I meant to run (a tale of sore knees and illnesses)

I meant to run yesterday for the first time since last Sunday’s Ealing Half and the last time before this Sunday’s Cardiff Half.  I didn’t, because the Neon Toddler ended up at home with a terrible cough and a very sore thumb (she’s got an infected cut, and is on antibiotics which she obviously loves to take… not!).  Alongside that, my knee is very sore.  Superficially.

I may have neglected to mention in my Ealing Half race report that I fell over.  Falling over is one of the hazards of just being me and existing in the world, so I don’t mention often when I do fall over (in fact not unless something actually noteworthy happens regarding the falling over, like when I smashed my face open).  So, around 12km into the half, I fell over and took a huge chunk out of the top of my knee (you may remember I did something very similar during the RPFUltra, not once but twice!).

So, my  knee is superficially sore.  It’s in a really terrible place, being right over the top of the bit of my knee that actually bends, meaning that every time I bend my knee the scab stretches out.  This is not, in and of itself, a reason not to run, nor would it have stopped me from going for a run had I not been ambushed by the illness of my child (which obviously takes precedent over all things).

Anyway, what this meaningless post is trying to say is that I haven’t run since Ealing Half, and tomorrow A, Neon Toddler, and I head to Cardiff for more half-marathon related fun!